I wonder if anyone from an earlier generation reads my blog. Or, any blog for that matter. Or, a blog at all. Would they know what a blog is? I wish from the bottom of my heart that someone does read mine because I have quite a few questions I would like to throw at them. It would also help if some of them are parents.
As I find my way around home, and relatives, I realize I am totally not cut-out for these kind of social interactions. Relatives whose first names or faces I can hardly recognize claim to be well-wishers and close friends. There is an unsaid pressure all around that asks me to meet with them, exchange niceties and pretend that with them is where I want to be the most. My parents and brother are theists and religiously (pun intended) follow all the customs and rituals as required on auspicious days. Though I have doubts about the existence of the God himself/herself/itself, I am very much sure these rituals have no purpose whatsoever. But, at home, I am the odd-guy-out because I cannot be persuaded to join them in the rituals. You can imagine the frictions and tensions that ensue. Three years ago, they had a son who dutifully sat down to perform poojas, without asking questions that were lingering in his mind. Who also was a right-leaning ultra-nationalist who supported BJP. Now, they have a son who has scant respect for the rituals being performed and balks at the mention of religion. I have told them I do not believe in these rituals. They pray to God that I should be ‘cured’. I cannot get into debates with them because it is beliefs we are talking about. I respect theirs, but unfortunately they don’t respect or relate to my beliefs. Why is it hard to understand? Is it because they are my parents they feel they have to show me the right ‘path’? But, is not this the time they should treat me like an adult and respect my views?
Adulthood. Ah! For some reason, with my parents at least (and most of my relatives), the term adults applies solely and exclusively only to them and folks of their age. All their children and their friends sadly never make it to adulthood. No matter whether their daughter’s 7 or 37. It is a problem so peculiar to India that I, not so long back, used to find it cute that parents still form a strong back-bone for people well in their 20s to rely on. But, with like all seemingly nice things, this sheltering of children leads to individuals who are still to come to grips with the world and have it in the back of their minds that their parents will be there,no matter what. This problem seems to be more acute with my parents’ generation, the generation that had its children in the 80s and 90s. For most of them, their children are the be-all and end-all of the world. All of us were pampered to the hilt and brought up like little princes in a kingdom of infinite riches. They took extra pains to ensure that their children should not know what ‘pain’ is. Heck, my mom called me up a few days back to tell about some burning problem that had happened earlier. Apparently, I was uninformed about this because their ‘gentle’ son would not be able to ‘handle’ such problems. Yes, again cute, but I believe it is so damaging to the children because I see many of my such-pampered cousins (and myself earlier) throwing tantrums, struggling in real-world situations and having a hard time facing failures, that they have to go throw a whole new phase of childhood in trying to grow into adults. They have not been exposed to problems at all and they think it is a hunky-dory world all around. I thank my stars that I got to get away from home when I did because it taught me a lot of stuff. Real-world stuff. I am not boasting about how much more mature I am than others because I am not. I still have my own issues to handle. But, I am definitely more than what I would have been if I had stayed in a sheltered home. I have had talks about this to my mother and why she (and other parents) pamper us so. She tells me, ‘You have children and you will know’. Which makes me really uncomfortable. Are all parents like this? I suspect this because I see most of her sisters and brothers also bring up their children the same way. So, please tell me, parents of the world, that to bring up your children you need not have to pamper them! Or, is there some strange socio-economic cause which turned all parents of the 80s to shower their attention on their children? Was it because it was a starvation economy of the 80s that made them be extra-cautious in ensuring their children did not feel these shortages? How are the new-age parents? Are they also being made to dance to the tunes of their little ones?
As you can see with my emotional outburst, I am frustrated. Frustrated enough to get into other complicated issues and screw up the nice parts of my life. I wonder if I have become a total misfit in the scheme of things at home and with my brethren. Or, is this some wierd anti-homesick feeling that every bachelor going back home after a long hiatus goes through?
Please do drop in your comments. I would like to read what all of you think about this. That also includes you – the lazy-to-comment-readers and the pissed-off-that-I-will-not-reply-to-her-earlier-comments reader!